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Elsa Schiaparelli () was one of the leading fashion designers of the s and s with a flair for the unusual. The first to use shoulder pads. Results 1 – 30 of Shocking Life by Schiaparelli, Elsa and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at Find Shocking Life by Schiaparelli, Elsa at Biblio. Uncommonly good collectible and rare books from uncommonly good booksellers.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Shocking Life by Elsa Schiaparelli. Shocking Life by Elsa Schiaparelli. Shiaparelli’s fascinating autobiography charts her rise from resident of a rat-infested apartment to designer to the stars. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Shocking Lifeplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 02, Emily rated it liked it Shelves: I knew next to nothing about Schiaparelli when I started this book, except that she made crazy surrealist clothing in the heyday of modern art in Paris.

Reading the book is like listening to a rambly old lady who never stops talking. She just launches into memories willy nilly and sometimes they are boring and don’t really make sense, sometimes it’s almost embarassingly culturally outdated but often it is gripping and wonderful and it makes you wish you could have been there.

She is always witty I knew next to nothing about Schiaparelli when I started this book, except that she made crazy surrealist clothing in the heyday of modern art in Paris. She is always witty and funny and occasionally spouts the kind of awesome wisdom that you just want to write in large letters and tape all over your house. My only complaint is that being a hodge-podge memoir, I definitely got the feeling that she glossed over certain parts, left out whole years, and then made a point to include certain little anecdotes that made her out to be the victim of a grand plot um yeah, I didn’t quite follow that.

It sort of made me want to read a regular biography of her to get some perspective on her life. Mar 31, Robin Temmink rated it really liked it. Elsa Schiaparelli is a true social butterfly. She describes her travels as someone would describe a walk in a park. Her life as an avant-garde fashion designer mostly enchanting. I’d compare her book to Diana Vreeland’s autobiography.

At times she switched subjects so casually that I lost the plot, but for most of it I enjoyed the wild ride she took me on. Sep 21, Sabrina Chapadjiev rated it liked it. Like, a mad love. She cray, and I love her. Was super excited to get into this autobiography, for possibly all the wrong reasons. I wanted to know how she constructed the clothes she did? How she built her fashion empire? How she dreamed up a new way of expressing femininity, whimsy and strength?

Although the book jacket exclaims, ‘Schiaparelli’s fascinating autobiography charts her rise from resident of a rat-infested apartment to designer to the stars’, it – like the entire book – ignores her aristocratic familial associations which, no doubt, leveraged her to the type of lifestyle that allowed her to fecklessly explore her own desires.

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Writing from two personalities – the first person and the third person she calls, ‘Schiap’, who exists to her in the fifth dimension, this is not so much an autobiographic book as it is a fragrance.

Much like her renowned perfumes, it captures a mood, a breezy mind-state, but despite it’s word count – doesn’t give the sense of fact a whirl. In fact, I encourage you to read her wikipedia page before reading this book. I wish I had before I read it. That being said, if you’re as enamored with her clothing and personality as much as I am, I encourage you to read this- to get a sense of how she thought of herself.

But it is mostly fluff, and self-referential hoo-ha, she miraculously bumps into the right people all the time, and somehow launches an international brand.

That being said, I love she didn’t talk business so much. I just wish she talked about her own art a bit more. But honestly, her whipped creamed existence, anchored by a true grit she rarely touches on she vaguely admits she pretty much abandons her childI love her spirit.

Her shocking spirit, of a woman who confidently breezes in and out of a brilliant and non-apologetic existence at a time when it just wasn’t done.

Shocking Life – Elsa Schiaparelli – Google Books

Her stories often encapsulate the stories of others, which shows that despite her self-myth making, she was more interested in others than herself. She just couldn’t help herself. And God love her for that. Feb 21, Katie Mcsweeney rated it liked it Shelves: This is a toughie to review I think I might have hated “Schiap” if I ever met her.

She name-drops like there is no tomorrow. I wonder did she choose anecdotes just so she could name names She mentions being firm friends, lifelong friends, dear friends, fast friends Is it possible that these people felt the same???

A good test of this might be to see how many of these famous people mention her in their biographies?

The woman practically invented networking! Her re This is a toughie to review Her relationship with her daughter was very difficult to understand.

She talks about her love for Gogo with genuine feeling but she spent so much time away from her from elwa. She is Italian by birth but chose to be French. She seems to hold onto nothing at all She bizarrely seems to blame experimental drugs for her loosing touch with the fashion Zeitgeist.

Lire hardly mentioned her collaborations with Dali and the ONLY reference to Coco Channel her biggest rival is to mention that Channel and a long list of other people was at some party or other. All that being said, she occasionally had the most beautiful turn of elza and sometimes she really hit the nail on the head with her pithy observations p.

She said herself that if she hadn’t been a dressmaker she would have liked to have been a writer Bad joke, I know Jan 24, Emily rated it really liked it. This was really interesting, even though she barely writes about fashion at sgocking. I do wish she’d written at least a little bit more about her inspiration for the fantastical things she designed, and that there had been more illustrations. Instead she talks a lot about her experiences as an immigrant, shoc,ing a single mother, her furniture, and about escaping occupied Paris and aiding the esla during WWII – all of which were quite interesting.

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She also writes a lot about yachting and private pla This was really interesting, even though she barely writes about fashion at all.

She also writes a lot about yachting and private plane capers with her pals – those parts were schkaparelli interesting to me. And when she talks about her jewels being stolen she says she lost practically nothing because the diamonds and sapphires were very small. She lived in a schizparelli world, to be sure, and this book provides a tiny yet valuable window into it. Jan 02, Rebecca rated it liked it. Much of her tale is fascinating; all must be taken with a grain of salt.

It seemed to have been written in a spirit of defensive self-justification; was she trying to convince herself she was a halfway decent parent? It’s interesting that needing to provide as a single mother propelled Schiaparelli into her design career, but she seemed to en 3.

It’s interesting that needing to provide as a single mother propelled Schiaparelli into her design career, but she seemed to enjoy her work liffe much that she completely neglected her daughter. I wanted to hear much more about her collaboration with Dali and Cocteau, more about her creative process, less about her furniture More and better illustrations would have been welcome. Aug 05, Roya rated it it was ok. Schiaparelli was an amazing person, but her autobiography just kind of rambles on like schiaparflli one-sided conversation.

Her account of WW II was rather interesting and offered a different perspective on the Nazi occupation of France than I have ever read before.

I also enjoyed the account of her visit to Moscow.

She alternates between writing in teh first and third person and note sin the beginning of the book that she views herself as if in a mirror. I tried to decipher when she switched personal pro Schiaparelli was an amazing person, but her autobiography just kind of rambles on like a one-sided conversation.

Shocking Life

I tried to decipher when she switched personal pronouns from first to third person, but there was no consistency. Sometimes, it seemed that, in the third person, she was reflecting and in the firstshe was telling an account May 25, Raquel rated it it was ok Shelves: Schiaparelli had, by all accounts, a very interesting life: But her writing is stilted.

She doesn’t know how to convey emotion and life–it’s a lot of telling, not showing. I wish someone would write a biography on her and do her life justice. I couldn’t finish it. I got most of the way through, and then had to read a few other books in between, and just lost interest. Aug 21, Lii rated it really liked it.